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The Survey Summit last week at the Esri User Conference was well-received by the user community. With dozens of sessions covering a wide range of surveying topics, 550 people came together to learn and network. With the economy, attendance was not as high as hoped, but everybody we spoke to were glad they came, and plans are already underway for next year's Summit.
LightSquared was the biggest item on the agenda, and after two separate sessions, both sides of the issue agreed that the meetings were useful. The take-away for me was the fact that everybody (except LightSquared) agrees that LightSquared must not be allowed to use the upper of its two authorized spectrum bands. This IMAGE sums it up.
Even so, it was pointed out that the lower band has not been tested on precise gear, and the current proposal before the FCC is for both bands. A formal proposal to the FCC for use of just the lower band has not been submitted by LightSquared, and when or if one is, it should be subject to the same rigorous testing as their current proposal. The deadline for comments is rapidly approaching, so if you use GPS to make money, you would be wise to ask your representatives to stop the proposal altogether until the issue can be sorted out.
During the panel session, Javad Ashjaee got everybody's attention by saying, "We love LightSquared!" His rationale is simple: communications is as much a part of GNSS as postioning. High-speed wireless will offer ubiquitous coverage that could be used for transmitting differential corrections, and indeed, could be the backbone of a worldwide RTN. I have more to say about this in the Spotlight below.
As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you've got a project or story you'd like to share. Thanks for your support.
Until next time,
Marc Cheves, LS
The American Surveyor

[Send your comments, announcements, tips, gripes, or kudos to Marc]
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Editorial: Military Surveying: Then & Now
As a former artillery surveyor for the U.S. Army, I have a soft spot in my heart for "82 Charlies." Until recently, 82C was the designation given to artillery surveyors, with other initials going to construction (82 Bravo) and topographic (82 Delta) surveyors. Because there was such a great ....
Read the Article
Subsurface Modeling - Utilities Can't Be Seen... Can They Be Surveyed?
The accuracy and detail of above-ground surveying continues to be enhanced by satellite-based positioning, and optical technologies like LiDAR and laser scanning. Software is now ....
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The Elevation Certificate {translated} Part 1
Over the years we (the authors) keep hearing the crying and moaning from our colleagues about the abuse surveyors endure at the hands of civil engineers, zoning and planning regulators, government officials and all outsiders having no ....
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Reconstructing An Accident Scene
As do many police forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigates motor vehicle collisions as part of its mandate. The RCMP has trained some police officers to provide additional investigative expertise as collision analysts and ...
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Product Review: Sokkia SRX
A few years ago, when business was booming here in Texas and across the U.S., the demand for our services was growing. My dad and I realized that we needed to expand our survey operation. There were several routes we could pursue­hire more people to help increase production (investing ...
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How Precise is OPUS? - Part 1: Experimental Results
NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS) introduced its Online Positioning User Service (OPUS) in 2001 as a means to provide both easy and accurate access to the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). Surveyors and others can submit dual frequency GPS data to the OPUS web page ...
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Book Marks: Burt's Solar Compass: Its Conception, Development, Manufacturing, Marketing and Daily Use by Robert C. Miller
Experience with navigational trigonometry in high school led Robert Miller to a lifelong interest in the astronomical triangle and the equipment used in defining its values. A broader interest in the history of technology ....
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Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard

Check out the HP 50g.

A powerful, portable and versatile tool for many surveying tasks. There are many third party software packages available to transform your HP 50g into a powerful data collector or COGO tool.

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feature While at the Survey Summit I posted a write-up of the LightSquared sessions HERE. In it I provide details of the sessions, and also a link to a video Javad Ashjaee prepared especially for the event. The video is well worth watching because, in addition to being provocative, it provides fundamental information about how GNSS works. An extensive article about this also appeared on the GPS World website.

The video also contains Javad's other industry-rattling proposal: turning off the P-Code encryption on the L2 signal. According to Javad, the U.S. gains no security advantage by encrypting the signal. He encourages all users to contact as many people as possible, even President Obama. All sides agree that our nation will benefit economically from increased bandwidth, but it has become clear that we will not be able to co-exist with LightSquared's upper band.

Subsequent to the Summit, the Spatial Media team sat down with Javad and created two more exclusive videos which further explain signals, bandwidth, and Javad's proposal. These videos can be found HERE. Both of these videos cover not only surveying, but machine control and GIS mapping as well. In addition to explaining Javad's proposals, they are educational in nature.

My take on this is a variant of Gavin Schrock's idea: not only would it be a shame if the precise community in the US—the nation that gave the world the free GPS—is not able to use it, but economically it would do us great harm. There are three other constellations (GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou) either existing or in the build-out stages. Does the US want to be left out of the race? As Javad has said, it needs to be the Coalition to Save GPS and LightSquared.

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Spatial Media Releases Two Videos from the Esri User Conference
Optech Announces the Release of its YouTube Channel, OptechGlobal
Thomson Reuters Completes Acquisition of Manatron
ASPRS Potomac Region GeoTech 2011 Annual Conference
Hemisphere GPS Launches New Earthworks Excavator Grade Control System
Maptek Releases Vulcan 8.1 to Global Market
SITECH Technology Dealers Established in Norway and Colombia for Heavy and Highway Contractors
SubSurface Instruments, Inc. Unveils Innovative ML-3 Magnetic Locators
Applanix Releases Service Pack 1 for POSPac MMS 5.4
MicroSurvey Releases STAR*NET V7
Blue Marble’s Envelope Administrative Tools Well-Received at esri UC
Korpershoek to Lead Topcon’s Global Marketing Efforts
Septentrio and Altus Announce Expansion of Strategic Relationship
DigitalGlobe Launches Global Basemap Subscription Service
Laser Technology, Inc. Releases the TruPulse 360 R; A Rugged & Waterproof Compass Laser
earthmine Hosts Successful First Partner Conference
LightSquared Sessions at Survey Summit: A Possible Solution?
Carlson SurvPC Provides Land Surveyors with a Seamless GIS Work Environment
Construction Unemployment Drops to 15.6 Percent in June
Champion TKO GNSS Base/Rover Announced
JAVAD GNSS TRIUMPH-VS Software Updates Version 1.5 Released
Federal Agencies Recommend Keeping Wireless Communications Network Away From GPS Radio Band
GPS Satellite Achieves 20 Years On-orbit
For Those Having Difficulty Submitting LightSquared Comments to the FCC
Blue Marble to Feature Enhanced ArcMap Extension for COGO Selection Using Area of Use Envelopes at the Esri Survey Summit
Leica Geosystems’ SmartNet North America Adds New Portal Features
Optech Announces Real-Time Point Cloud Interface for Lynx Mobile Mapper
Leica Geosystems Machine Control Pays Off For Concrete Paving Contractor
New App Turns iPhone or iPad 2 into Geospatial Data Collector
Update on the National Adjustment of 2011 (NA2011) Project, and "NGS Perspectives" Newsletter
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